'Skin-colored' band-aid debate crosses Swedish borders

Sweden's debate about "skin-colored" bandaids always being beige has crossed the country's borders and prompted heated reactions in neighboring Denmark, where the foreign minister there has now apologized for remarks he made on his Facebook page, writing to the Danish news agency Ritzau that he was sorry his status update that had created such a stir.

Danish media had reported that a debate has been raging in Sweden about "bandaids being accused of racism". Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen of the conservative Venstre party, gave his opinion on his Facebook page: "I'm happy once again that I don't live in Sweden," he said, linking to a Swedish Radio story on the controversial bandaids.

Jensen told Danish TV2 channel it was said with a glimmer in his eye.

"I'm glad that I live in a country where we discuss things more important that the color of bandaids," he said.

The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (Social Democrats) was aware of the controversial remark on Facebook and commented on it during a visit to Gothenburg, telling news agency TT that she thought about the fact that he was new to the job as foreign minister, and that he sould be forgiven.

Stockholm-based Danish professor Drude Dahlerup had strongly reacted to the minister's comment, calling for an apology.

"It is unworthy of a foreign minister to speak of a neighboring country in these terms," she said.

Dahlerup thinks Danish politicians have a tendency to use a scurrilous portrait of Sweden to make a point in domestic politics.